B6 - Minimising medicines misuse and abuse

Lomond Auditorium

Organised by the FIP Social and Administrative Pharmacy Section in collaboration with the FIP Community Pharmacy Section, the FIP Hospital Pharmacy Section and the FIP Industrial Pharmacy Section

Chairs

Ola Ghaleb Al Ahdab (Drug Department, Ministry of Health, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) and Yamira Suarez Perez (Centre for State Quality Control of Drugs — Cuban National Drug Regulatory Authority, Cuba)

Introduction

Misuse and abuse of medicines are a growing public health concern worldwide. Pharmacists are ideal healthcare professionals to mitigate the risks due to their detailed knowledge, skills and competence in medicines management. As the most accessible healthcare professional in the community, pharmacists are well positioned to provide useful approaches and awareness that include early intervention, prevention, treatment and recovery from support services. Strategies adopted may span professional, technical, ethical, logistic and personal domains. These may include efforts to reform, rebalance and address drug control policies and, highlighting public health roles of pharmacists as partners with the healthcare community and patients. Diversion and abuse of analgesic medicines such as opioids is becoming increasingly more prevalent. Unlike illegal drugs, prescription medicines include controlled and semi-controlled medicines which are often readily accessible because of their legitimate use for a range of medical purposes. Some studies suggest that most prescription drug abusers get medicines free from a friend or relative who holds a prescription, and the incidence of abuse is high among teens and young adults.

Some people may unintentionally use prescription medicines improperly by self-medicating without advice from a pharmacist or medical practitioner. Others may use prescription medicines inappropriately as a result of dependence or addiction to them.

In response, regulators and healthcare providers in collaboration with other stakeholders can set strategies and policies to restrict the use of controlled or semi-controlled medicines in order to restrict access to such medicines in an attempt to minimise and prevent potential and actual misuse and abuse. Pharmacists are often required to implement such strategies.

In this session we will elaborate on the current trend globally and differentiate between the misuse and abuse of medicines. We will explain the differences and similarities between psychological and physiological dependence, and finally, we will provide examples for successful management strategies highlighting the role of the pharmacists.

Programme

  1. Introduction to the session
    Yamira Suarez Perez (Centre for State Quality Control of Drugs — Cuban National Drug Regulatory Authority, Cuba)
  1. Current trend for the misuse and abuse of medicines globally
    Kelly Grindrod (University of Waterloo, Canada)
  1. Medicines with potential for misuse, abuse and diversion
    Osama Ibrahim (Emirates Pharmacy Society, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
  1. The consequences of medicines misuse and abuse
    Tareq Qassim (Erada Center, United Arab Emirates)
  1. Best practices and successful management strategies that minimise medicines misuse, abuse and diversion
    Vaiyapuri Subramaniam (Pharmacy Benefits Management, Veterans Health Administration, USA)

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Outline the current trend for misuse and abuse of medicines globally;
  2. Identify medicines that are being misused, abused and diverted;
  3. Describe the prevalence, impact and consequences of medicines misuse and abuse;
  4. Specify management strategies, best practices and successful management strategies that minimise medicines misuse, abuse and diversion; focusing on the pharmacist’s role in promoting public health by promoting responsible use of medicines.

Type of session: Knowledge-based